Combe Road Newsletter May 2017



There have been some staff developments over the last few months. We have recently employed a Practice manager, Joanne Barker (no relation to Janet!). Joanne has been a dental nurse for 16 years and started at the practice a year ago as the nurse for our Sunday clinic which she continues to do alongside the administration of the practice.
There have also been a few developments with the nursing staff. Lara has moved to a practice in Bristol to gain experience working for the NHS. Liberty has completed her dental nurse training with us so has moved on to a qualified nurse position at a practice in Thornbury. We have welcomed a dental nurse, Carly Spink who has been a nurse since 2005 and will be working with us 4 days a week.


Dr Mei-An Hoe and Dr Nichola Hird are now well established as our weekend dentists providing both routine and emergency appointments. Mei-An also runs clinics on Mondays and Fridays. Nichola has recently started offering appointments from 5.30pm till 8pm on Wednesday evenings.


From June we are extending the cosmetic services we can offer. Alongside tooth whitening and anterior orthodontics (tooth straightening) Nichola Hird will be offering appointments for Botox (Botulinum toxin) and dermal filler treatments. Fully qualified in both advanced and basic Botox and dermal filler treatments she will also be offering treatment for excessive sweating


With summer on the way we have had an increase in the number of patients asking about tooth whitening. Until the end of August we are offering 10% off the price of tooth whitening, so instead of £300 it will be £270. This offer is available to existing and new patients (following a full dental exam).


Obviously the appearance of their teeth is very important to most people but more important than anything is the health of the teeth and mouth. We still offer all our patients a free appointment on our Patient Preventative Programme (PPP) with our qualified Oral Health Educators, Trudy and Lu. These appointments are fantastic for both adults and children. It is a relaxed hands off session and covers a wide variety of oral health issues relevant to each individual patient.


We do appreciate a good piece of art work at Combe Road. If you use the upstairs waiting room you will have probably noticed our lovely new quilted wall hanging, if you haven’t, feel free to go up and have a look. This was designed and made by a very talented local artist Janet Vaughan. If you would like any information about her work please ask at reception.


Combe Road Newsletter June 2016



We have some major changes in progress at the moment. Stephanie has been with us for 5 years and was the first employee we took on under the Government Apprenticeship scheme. She took a holiday in Thailand last year and has obviously caught the “travel bug”, so she has now gone travelling in Australia for a year. The 3 dentists who have been providing weekend cover are all moving for career development: Julia Farmer has a new post in Wincanton; Julie Wheeler is moving to London, and Jon Stenson is moving to Wells. We wish them all well in these new chapters of their lives.

We have one new dentist starting with us in June. Mei-An Hoe qualified from the Bristol Dental School in 2009. She has wide experience from working in a hospital maxillofacial department, in Community Dentistry and in NHS and private general practices. Mei-An will be providing cover on Saturdays. We are currently interviewing additional dentists to ensure we can maintain our weekend surgeries, but in the meantime Janet will be covering most Sundays herself.

Our hygienist Anne works Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays but her availability is limited and she is rarely able to work all 3 sessions every week. Consequently, we do sometimes build up quite a waiting list for hygienist appointments. To help, we have taken on an additional hygienist, Paula Jay. Paula qualified in 2004 and works at other practices in the Bristol area. Paula will be working with us on Thursdays and some Saturdays.

We are also welcoming Leanne Smith who will be working mainly in Reception. Leanne lives in Portishead and has also enrolled in a course with the Dental Nursing Academy, so she will also be spending some time in the surgeries to gain practical experience.


Patients often ask which tooth paste we recommend and whether there are any differences between them. We do not recommend any specific brands of toothpaste, but whatever brand you do prefer we always recommend a tooth paste for adults with 1400/1500ppm fluoride. For children of 3 years and older, tooth pastes should contain at least 1400ppm fluoride, but children under the age of 6 must be supervised to make sure they use no more than a smear of toothpaste on the brush.
In addition to fluoride tooth paste for general use, there are various tooth pastes aimed at specific problems. Some tooth pastes are quite strong-tasting and patients can experience tingling sensations when they use them – Oranurse is unflavoured and may be more suitable in these cases and Oral B also offer a mild mint range for sensitive mouths. Other tooth pastes, including Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief and Sensodyne, have been shown to reduce sensitivity to cold. Whitening tooth pastes work by removing external staining and do not actually lighten the shade of the tooth. We do stock “Whitewash Laboratories” toothpaste which does seem effective in preventing the build-up of stains.Teeth whitening is a form of dentistry and should only be performed by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist.
We do stock some special-purpose tooth pastes but your dentist will tell you if they think these are appropriate for you. Also, we often have a range of free samples that you are welcome to take away and try.


As with most practices, we aim to offer as comprehensive range of treatments as we can within the scope of general dentistry. However, we also try to go that bit further than most in the level of services we offer. This includes:

• Patient Preventative Programme. All our patients are offered free dental hygiene sessions with Lu or Trudy, our trained Oral Health Educators.
• Weekend Surgeries. We have always offered late evening and Saturday morning appointments for our regular patients, but over the last 3 years we have also opened on Saturdays and Sundays for emergency appointments.
• Extraction Clinic. Many practices refer their patients to the Bristol Dental Hospital for tooth extractions that we would perform in-house for our own patients, and waiting lists for the Dental Hospital are long. We now offer a dedicated Extraction Clinic which is available for referrals from dental practices or for patients to approach us directly.
• Hygienist. Not all dental practices provide dedicated hygienist appointments, but now that we have taken on a second hygienist, we are able to offer appointments to patients of other practices. It was once a requirement for all patients to be seen by a dentist at the practice before making an appointment to see the hygienist, but this is no longer necessary. A half-hour appointment with our hygienist costs £46.

The weekend, emergency, surgeries, extraction clinic and additional hygienist appointments are all available to people who are not our regular patients, so please do let your friends and families know if you think they may benefit from these services.


You can request normal or emergency appointments via our website or by e-mail, but please note that we do not monitor these on a 24-hour basis. Requests submitted out of hours will be picked up at 9am the following morning and we will call you on the telephone number you provide. However, we do recommend that you use the telephone in preference to email if you want to be seen the same day.

Also, we have a ground floor surgery that is usually used by Janet; however, we can change around so that anybody who has difficulty climbing stairs can be seen downstairs by their usual dentist. Please do let us know when you book an appointment if you need this facility.